At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
A trenching shovel is a specialized tool for digging specific types of trenches in a yard or other area. Property owners or others may need to dig special trenches for irrigation, laying power lines, or for other home or commercial purposes. A trenching shovel can be used for some basic digging, where more extensive projects often require a different type of tool.
Those looking to dig trenches for important property improvements have options. A power trencher is a machine that cuts a trench in the ground with an automated digging apparatus. Experts recommend against using a trenching shovel to manually dig anything deeper than a foot.
Power trenchers can come in “walk behind” styles similar to a lawn mower or manually operated tilling machine. Other styles are add-ons to a Bobcat or skid steer vehicle. There are also special designs for special purposes, such as a “lawn edge trencher” for landscaping, or a “wire trencher” for getting specialized trenches to lay electrical lines.
In manual trenching, those with tough jobs to do can choose from conventional, large, or small trenching shovels. These often have a “straight spade” style design with a sharp point at the bottom of the shovel. There are also tools called trenching hoes that have a single flat edge that will help to dig a trench with a specific width.
Safety is extremely important in using any kind of trenching tool. A trenching shovel with its sharp edges can easily puncture existing electrical wires or small water pipes. Property owners and workers using trenching tools need to know all about what’s already under the ground to prevent any accidents that could result in injury or damage to the property. Those using bigger trenching tools will also want to make sure that these machines don’t damage water pipes just by placing a weight load on them.
The soil type can be an important factor in what kind of trench digging tools to use. A mini shovel or other manual tool can be fine for softer soils, but a poor choice for hard or rocky ones. A power digger that can cut a uniform trench often provides better results than trying to do tough jobs by hand. Those who are responsible for either yard projects or bigger commercial projects can check out all of the options, and make informed decisions about how to dig the best trench for a particular use.